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CBI grills examiners in teacher job scam

A CBI joint team from Ranchi and Dhanbad has been interrogating teachers of Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University (TMBU) here for the past three days in the 2006 Jharkhand Eligibility Test (JET) scam.

The team, put up at the varsity guesthouse, is interrogating 31 TMBU teachers who examined the answer scripts of JET on the basis of which 937 teachers were appointed in colleges in the state. On May 21, the team questioned six teachers, nine the next day and 16 on Friday. The teachers reportedly co-ordinated with the CBI team properly.

In August 2006, Jharkhand Public Service Commission had appointed 937 teachers in different colleges of Jharkhand on the basis of JET scores. Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, a resident of Godda in Jharkhand, registered a writ file at Ranchi High court, expressing apprehension about large-scale irregularities in examination of answer scripts. Ranchi High Court assigned the investigation to CBI in 2012.

“TMBU teachers are alleging that many bigshots, including government officials of Jharkhand, were involved in the scam. The CBI should quiz those persons in Jharkhand,” a senior TMBU teacher, preferring anonymity.

He added that the teachers claim innocence but consider that the ongoing CBI interrogation would put a question mark on their reputation.

“After checking the copies assigned to me, I put the total marks on each and returned them. How could I tell that the copies were tampered with? The custodians of the copies can explain to the CBI about copy tampering,” said Dr Amita Moitra, former president of the TMBU Teachers’ Association and a senior varsity teacher.

The CBI team asked Dr Moitra whether her signature on the marks file of the copies was genuine or fake. Dr Maninath Choudhary, the principal of BN College, Bhagalpur, was also interrogated by the CBI team. Choudhary said: “After checking, I handed over the copies like other teachers. The tampering was done at the upper level after we returned the copies.”

“We want to ascertain from the teachers who checked the JET answer scripts whether the overwriting of marks, changes made while writing the total marks obtained and other markings in the answer scripts were done by them or not. We want to know whether the tampering was done by the teachers at Bhagalpur or by others involved in the scam,” said a source.